Countries differ in the way in which they organise their education systems. With this special issue, we want to pay particular attention to the period of secondary education, the different institutional approaches that countries pursue during that phase and the long-term consequences for individual labour-market outcomes that follow from it. Secondary education is probably the most influential episode in educational careers as, in almost all education systems, students are being placed on different trajectories that determine individual life courses and labour-market outcomes.
The contributions in this issue are all concerned with the question to what extent educational differentiation in secondary education is predictive of labour-market outcomes at occupational maturity in a specific country.
The most obvious result that appears across all contributions of this special issue is that educational differentiation in secondary education has visible implications for individual long-term labour-market outcomes – even after controlling for ability selection into the different educational tracks. In all country studies, academic tracks are connected to more favourable labour-market outcomes than vocational tracks.
This is part of a special issue prepared by the LIFETRACK project. Other articles of this special issue can be found here.